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Bringing a new cat home when you already have a cat as a pet requires careful planning. Cats are highly independent & solitary creatures, and chances are that your residential cat will not easily accept your new pet to share its house and space.
You need to adopt the following strategy to avoid trouble:
- You must ensure that the new cat is healthy, free of fleas and other diseases; but this is not enough. You must also ensure that your residential pet is clean and tick-free. If even One cat is not perfectly healthy, you are likely to end up with massive bills from the vet.
- Next, start arranging the new cat’s ‘furniture’. Put out its food and water bowl, a litter box and if possible, even get in a cloth smelling of your new cat for the residential cat to get used to.
- Now comes the actual process of your new pet crossing the threshold. The most effective way is not to involve yourself directly; this will reduce the insecurity the existing cat is bound to feel. Get a friend to bring in the cat for you, else put the residential cat in a separate room for that period of time.
- Both the cats are now in the house. Is it time for them to finally meet? Not yet! You should put the new cat in a separate room for a couple of days. Your curious cat will definitely poke roughly trying to discover the mystery of the locked room. After a few days, crack open the door just a bit. Observe what happens next. If the cats seem aggressive, try putting a piece of furniture between them; you don’t want a claw fight breaking out. If all seems calm, you are ready to move to the next step.
- Prepare for the big moment by trimming the cats’ claws. Then when the residential cat is not attending to the door, let the new cat out, and let it wander about under your observation. When the 2 cats come face-to-face there may be a bit of hissing and tension, which is no cause to worry. If the cats begin to snarl or jump at each other’s throats, separate them with a water spray, and start over. However, by this time, chances are that the cats will slowly adjust to and may even come to love each other!